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Editorial: Bonds
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(After today's print edition went to press, the C-I learned that Clinton Beebe had also been granted a bond similar, if not identical, to his wife's. We have modified the online version of this editorial by removing a reference stating Mr. Beebe was still being detained without bond.)

In a front page story today, we report on the release of Peggy Danielle “Dani” Leforte Beebe from the Kershaw County Detention Center on Tuesday after Circuit Court Judge L. Casey Manning signed an order granting her $150,000 bond.

Beebe and her husband, Clinton Warren “C.W.” Beebe, have been held without bond since mid-October 2018 when they were arrested for allegedly murdering Adam Davis of Bethune at the end of 2016.

Manning allowed Beebe or, as indicated on the Kershaw County Clerk of Court’s website, another individual, to pay only 5 percent, or $7,500 of the $150,000 bond in order to be released. He also ordered her to wear an electronic monitor, not live near the Davis family and to have no direct or indirect contact with them. In addition, Manning ordered her to not consume alcohol or illicit drugs.

During the course of the previous week and weekend, some members of the public expressed their anger on social media about her pending release -- even detailing exactly what Manning’s order ended up being, something that should not have been possible given the nature of attorney-client privelege.

That is disturbing, but what we want to focus on here is the thought that someone accused of murder should not be able obtain a bond. How can a judge let someone charged with murder go free, especially after a different judge originally denied bond?

The simple fact is that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Neither Dani or C.W. Beebe have pleaded guilty nor have they been convicted by a jury. Therefore, judges must take everything into consideration and the public needs to understand that every judge is different. What Judge Allison Renee Lee heard when she denied bond last November may have been different from what Manning heard in April. Even if it was the exact same information, Lee and Manning -- while required to follow state-mandated guidelines -- may have interpreted that information differently.

Manning’s order setting bond for Dani Beebe included the phrase, “in light of the circumstances.” Unfortunately, the C-I was unable to attend the bond reconsideration hearing. We are in the process of obtaining a transcript so that we can lay out for the public what may have led to Manning’s decision. Otherwise, unless he decides to reveal his reasons, of course, we may never know -- his order contains no further explanation.

We do know, understand and sympathize with the high emotions that accompany any criminal case, but especially murder. Sometimes the process of justice seems unfair, even mystifying.

As Kershaw County’s newspaper of record, we will continue to follow the story, reporting the facts as they officially become available.